Animal welfare is of great importance in the UAE. Recently the demand for animal welfare laws and regulations have increased globally. Owning a pet is a commitment and it is important to recognize that they too have rights. The UAE introduced Law Number 16 of 2007 which contains the provisions for ensuring animal welfare, and the Act has been subsequently amended by Law Number 18 of 2016. However, new concerns have recently arisen with regard to animal welfare and regulations.

New Aspects of the Law

The MOCCAE (Ministry of Climate Change and Environment) has issued executive regulations on the 2007 law as mentioned earlier and its 2016 amendment. Under the new regulations, mistreatment of animals and pets will result in punishment.

Animal abuse and abandonment are strictly prohibited. In the event an individual wishes to no longer care for their pet, the animal should be handed over to an appropriate entity or organization which can then continue to care for them, and likely pass them on to new owners. Beyond this, also prohibited is the mistreatment of animals, requiring the animals be provided with an appropriate level of nutrition and given necessary space and care.

Beyond standard pets, there are also those animals which are used to perform work. Under the new regulations, such animals are not to be overworked or abused.

If infringements of these rights occur, the owner or caretaker may face punishments including but not limited to fines or jail time. With these regulations in place, the aim is to achieve a high standard of animal welfare in the nation and implement an appropriate legal structure to handle matters and situations that could arise.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.